29 Years of Folk and Fun: The Woodford Folk Festival
From the 27th of December to the 1st of January, a town known as Woodfordia springs up in the usually sleepy Sunshine Coast hinterland, and is visited by over 120,000 people. The Woodford Folk Festival is one of Australia’s largest and most iconic events, and one of the largest “folk” festivals in the world.
The Woodford Folk Festival is the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia. The programme encompasses the depth and diversity of Australia’s cultural, artistic and social expression with music, dance, cabaret, circus, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, visual arts, an entire children’s festival and many special presentations including a spectacular fire event on New Year’s Day.
“Music, dance, cabaret, circus, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, visual arts, an entire children’s festival and many special presentations…”
The Woodford Folk Festival started as a small event in Maleny, Queensland. Produced by the newly incorporated Queensland Folk Festival, the first Maleny Folk Festival started on the 13th of March, 1987 at the local showgrounds, where it attracted just 900 people. The festival grew rapidly, receiving attendances of more than fifty thousand people in just eight short years. As the festival developed, it outgrew the site at Maleny, and in 1994 it was moved to a 240 acre site at Woodford.
Woodfordia, the festival’s home is only an hour’s drive northwest of Brisbane. It’s a five hundred acre property that has been developed into a cultural parkland dedicated to the arts, humanities and lore. Woodfordia has the infrastructure to accommodate a live-in population of 25,000 people and has also been lovingly regenerated with over a hundred thousand subtropical rainforest trees, orchids, ferns and sedges to create a habitat for butterflies and wildlife.
“A cultural parkland dedicated to the arts, humanities and lore…”
The Woodford Folk Festival is produced by the Queensland Folk Federation, a not for profit, community association, that reflects the grassroots, non-commercial feel of the festival.
The Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 29th year with a vibrant and ambitious programme. On offer are over five hundred acts, with the Violent Femmes, The Cat Empire, Archie Roach, Nahko and Medicine for the People and Kate Miller-Heidke being among the musical highlights. Bob Hawke, Josh Fox, Rhonda Roberts, Richard Fidler and Tim Cope are amongst the exceptional line up of speakers.
Five Woodford Folk Festival Facts:
- At the festival, bars serve more than 21,285 pints and 65,760 cans of beer over the course of the festival; however adults at the festival drink on average less than two drinks per day.
- Woodford recycles 100m3 of cardboard and ten tonnes of co-mingled recyclable waste.
- Woodford has planted more than a hundred thousand trees and six hundred species on the festival site since 1994.
- Woodford has a closed loop water system- all water for the festival is collected on site and treated in a revolutionary waste water treatment plant, with the recycled water being used for irrigation.
- Seventy per cent of the audience of the audience are repeat visitors- so you know it must be good!
Tickets for the Woodford Folk Festival are available from their website at: www.woodfordfolkfestival.com